Thursday, 11 March 2010

Little Tokyo

Idle hands are the devil's workshop supposedly, so I like to find new things to do. Well at least to stop myself from getting bored.

I want to get better at photoshoping, so I thought I'd look up some cool tricks to spice up my Tokyo snaps.

One very cool trick is to fake an expensive Tilt Shift lens that creates an amazing optical illusion of a miniature model set. In a nutshell, you get a wide angle shot preferably from above, and gradually blur both foreground and background. The final pièce de résistance is to up the saturation to approximate the "plastic" look, and there you have it!

I'm still learning to perfect it, but I think my attempts have come out ok.

This is Hama-rikyu Gardens we went to almost exactly two years ago (Wow, I've been here too long). I don't have too many wide shots but with the Conrad Hotel in the background already dwarfing the garden pavilion, I thought it'd help the illusion.

Here's one from Akihabara I took today. I tried to find the highest point possible, specifically to do my version of a miniature Akiba. Not too many places 'round here. Mandarake would have been the perfect building if they didn't put the suicide preventative netting around the staircase. I went up a few escalators in an office building on the main road across from the big Sofmap.

Look at the cute little people!

It's very impressive when you see this effect on VIDEO. Check this out! Also very worthy are the Youtube videos like the one below. (No, this wasn't done by me. I wish!)

At the moment the apartment is covered in scaffolding for what looks like a re-paint so I "forced myself", ha ok, it gave me an excuse I didn't need, to go to Akihabara and Ochanomizu.

I've retired my Panasonic headphones. One ear cuts out and I'm sick of doing the "twist & flex" to hear from both of them. They had a good run I guess. My Kenwood cans are fantastic, but because of the sound leakage and size, they aren't really practical for the trains. I had my mind set on a pair of Sennheiser CX300 II. The cheapest was an online order, but I had luck with E-Trend via Kakaku for 3,980 yen without any headaches.

I'm one of those people that like to open headphone packs carefully, so I watched an unintentionally hilarious (to me anyway) unboxing on Youtube that actually finished without the guy being able to open it! Myself I managed a tiny cut on my finger from sharp plastic, but no major damage (to myself or the box).

The other interesting photo manipulation trick I'm digging at the moment is getting some of my pictures "Lomo"-ized. A friend once showed me photos she'd cross processed with slide film, and the saturated colours looked awesome.

There's something undeniably cool about the character and feel that it can add to a photo. I followed this guide to get the effect. In keeping with my Akihabara day, this is my Lomo version from my ahem, Akiba maid "archive".

I hope you enjoyed my little bit of "artistic expression". Got something quite interesting coming up. Don't change that dial!